Anonymised survey sent to Scottish Parliament users to investigate barriers to reporting inappropriate sexual behaviour
Writing to all Scottish Parliament users, the Presiding Officer said a new confidential phone line for anyone wishing to report sexual harassment will be operational before the end of the week
The leaders of Scotland’s political parties have agreed to send an anonymised survey to everyone working in the Scottish Parliament as part of efforts to find out more about the barriers to reporting inappropriate sexual behaviour.
Writing to all Scottish Parliament users, the Presiding Officer said the new confidential phone line for anyone wishing to report sexual harassment will be operational before the end of the week.
The PO has also invited the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee to “look again” at the aspects of the Code of Conduct relating to complaints about MSPs to ensure it “remains fit for purpose”.
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Explaining plans for an anonymised survey of parliament users, the letter from Macintosh said: “This will help us understand the issues and the barriers that exist to reporting and challenging such behaviour.
“It also provides an opportunity for members and staff to contribute their ideas to creating a positive workplace for everyone. The results of that survey – which we will progress urgently – will inform our next steps.”
Party leaders met today to agree action on combating sexual assault and harassment after lawyer Aamer Anwar said he had heard reports of a "catalogue of abuse" against women at Holyrood.
Following the reports, Scottish Parliament PO Ken Macintosh and chief executive Sir Paul Grice called on MSPs, staff and visitors to call out and report inappropriate behaviour.
The SNP has launched an investigation into claims of unacceptable sexual behaviour after concerns were raised by two members.
The party said enquiries were at an early stage but that the two cases were unconnected.
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